As a kid growing up in a small town, there were always those that seemed to be in the spotlight. Some were outgoing, sometimes comedic, while others were just downright brash. While a part of me wanted to be accepted, I just could not find the courage to compete for the spotlight. As I compared myself to those that were popular and in favor, I didn’t feel that I measured up.
A lot of years have passed and many of those whom I envied, seemed to have crashed and burned. Others somehow just fell into life’s rut, found it comfortable and became satisfied to live an uneventful life. As for me, I slowly began to bloom and have become somewhat content with my identity.
It’s very difficult to positively impact the world when you feel insignificant or in some way inadequate. I can only imagine how frustrated God must get when we see little value in our lives. For the Christian, our self-worth should only come from who we are in Jesus Christ. So, what should that mean to us?
- HIS LIKENESS “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27) For some reason not known to mankind, God did not create any members of the animal kingdom in His image, only human beings. This means that we are set apart and above all creatures, even angels. Scripture tells us, “Do you not know that you shall rule over angels?” (1 Cor. 6:3)
- HIS THOUGHTS “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) How can God think about each of His children, all at the same time? But a greater question is why? You see, usually we don’t think we are worthy of His thoughts. But these questions are not for us to answer; rather we should just bask in the blessings!
- HIS LOVE “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3) Once again, how could He love so many who are so unlovable? That could only be answered by the One who at a time only known to Him, while knowing all that we would do and not do, chose in that moment, to love us anyway. He made a commitment that He could never break to begin loving us with a love that would be eternal.
There are many other reasons that we should know that we have infinite value. The most well-adjusted children on earth are those who know and accept that they are loved and protected by their parents. They are not ashamed of who they are and certainly not ashamed by who their parents are.
The 21st century church seems to have a chronic self-esteem problem. It has become shy, withdrawn and afraid to boldly proclaim the name of Jesus to a world that is starving for Him. Unfortunately, this problem will not be resolved in churches until it is dealt with in the hearts of Christians. When we can accept that we are children of the King of Kings, empowered and gifted by the Spirit of God to boldly stand for Jesus Christ, then we will begin to make a difference.
We need repentance at two levels. The Church needs to repent corporately, but first, individual Christians desperately need to repent. We will never see revival of any significance until these two requirements are fulfilled.
Meanwhile, seek out and claim your identity in Christ. Then boldly, yet humbly, step out on faith into the battle with God!